Georgia Avenue Gets Main Street Status

Georgia Avenue Gets Main Street Status

Have you noticed the exciting changes happening on Georgia Ave. in the last year or two?  Businesses are booming, neighbors are volunteering and the community is thriving.  Most of this is largely due to the organizing and advocacy of Georgia Avenue Thrive (GAT), a volunteer-based group of neighbors coming together to build an inclusive, connected, and vibrant community for the neighbors, businesses, and visitors to Lower Georgia Avenue. Initially starting in 2015 as a response to public safety concerns, GAT has grown to focus on creating opportunities for resident and business neighbors to build relationships and to support each other. We took a moment to chat with Jennifer Kuiper, the driving force behind GAT, to learn more about what’s going on in our neighborhood. Yoga Heights: What events or accomplishments has Georgia Avenue Thrive had so far? Georgia Avenue Thrive: GAT activities all come from the ideas and efforts of volunteers living and working here in the neighborhood. All our efforts are designed to be free, fun and family-friendly. Here is a sample of the activities resident and business volunteers have provided since starting up two years ago: Winter Fest and October Fest featuring local businesses, artists, makers, food vendors, and performers. Community-wide block party on Morton Street with water slides, service provider info tables, live performances, free bbq, and cooking demos by DC Reynolds and Feast in a Basket. Joint activities with Park Morton residents such as the Snow Angel holiday gift giving, NeighborUP-Park View activities, and Halloween costume donations. Yoga Heights community yoga and fitness classes on the old Murry’s Parking lot. Community outdoor movie nights with...
Pose of the Month: Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon

Pose of the Month: Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon

By Jess Gruber Confession: When I first started practicing yoga, I absolutely hated this posture! I couldn’t balance, I didn’t have enough strength to lift my leg, I kept collapsing. Whenever the teacher cued it, I felt an unsteady sensation in my stomach, my jaw would clench, and my body would stiffen. Over time, I grew stronger in postures like the warriors and lunges, more flexible in wide legged forward fold, and more balanced in tree pose. Now, this is one of my favorite postures – it’s so dynamic, provides the ability to move through a variety of transitions, and no matter how many times I’ve practiced it, it’s still challenging. If you’ve been to my classes, you’ll know that this posture is a staple of my All Levels Classes! We play with transitioning in and out of this posture, consider the lines the body is making, all while elongating the body and allowing the breath to wave through the body with ease. Let’s try it! Grab a block, find an open wall, and take a few breaths or wiggles to open your breath and body in preparation to try something new/challenging! Step 1: Come to the wall and take a forward fold with soft knees and your right side against the wall. Take a few breaths here.   Step 2: Take a halfway lift with a strong core, elongated spine, and strong legs without locking your knees. Place the block in front of your right foot and bring your right hand to the block so that your wrist is underneath your shoulder. Creating strength and stability in your...
Student Spotlight: Benjamin Finkel

Student Spotlight: Benjamin Finkel

Yoga Heights is made up of many fascinating people.  We are excited to introduce you to them one by one via the blog!   Benjamin Finkel is a super dedicated yogi who quietly comes in, sets up in the front row, and digs deep into his practice every time.  Since his first visit to YH in July of 2015, Ben has taken more than 225 classes. Check out his work as a cameraman, which is his super cool day-job, via the link in our interview below.   Yoga Heights: Why do you practice yoga? Benjamin: I run around with a heavy camera on one shoulder which throws me pretty far off balance. Yoga straightens me out.   YH: Tell us about your first experience at Yoga Heights. B: About a year before I joined Yoga Heights when I lived in Silver Spring, a friend invited me to a restorative class at Yoga Heights with a live guitarist and wine. I was sore for the next week.   YH: What classes do you go to at YH and why? B: I really joined Yoga Heights because of the variety and frequency of classes. My work schedule changes day to day, so I end up in lots of different classes at different times.   YH: What do you do when you’re not on the mat? B: I’m a cameraman and video editor producing content for a variety of broadcast and corporate clients. From ESPN, Discovery and Access Hollywood to Hilton, Boeing and the American Cancer Society, I do it all. Check out www.viewpointvideo.com   YH: Where did you grow up? B:...
Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: The Yamas, Living Yoga

Exploring the Eight Limb Path of Yoga: The Yamas, Living Yoga

By: Juliana Cole – Living Yogi, Yoga Instructor, Studio Manager at Yoga Heights   Hello Yogis! Thanks for tuning in again as we continue our discovery of the Eight Limb Path of Yoga. In this post, we will look more closely at the first limb: the Yamas. Last month I mentioned that I’d be writing about the Yamas and Niyamas in this post but as I dive into writing these posts and attempt to make them engaging and not overwhelming, I keep pulling back on adding more content. So I have split this post into two: this month you’ll get the Yamas & next month, the Niyamas!   Quick review – the eight limbs or stages of yoga are all about the practical application of yoga. What is the goal? BLISS, self-realization! You know, that glimmer that you have felt when you’re on the mat or out in nature where you get the sensation that you are one with everything. Maybe it appears more as a feeling of peace or a gentle quiet sensation or freedom from the things that otherwise make you feel restrained or conflicted – all of that is yoga and the journey to that oneness is also yoga.   We start here with the Yamas. The Yamas and Niyamas can be considered the ten ethical principles with which we guide our thoughts and actions; how we treat ourselves and the world around us, so to speak. Instead of thinking of these as a list of characteristics that you should emulate, think of these as descriptions of what you already embody that you practice to fine-tune...